Italian GP Jordan preview

BENSON AND HEDGES TOTAL JORDAN-PEUGEOT GP PREVIEW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ROUND 12 - ITALIAN GP: Monza ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael Schumacher's Belgian GP...

BENSON AND HEDGES TOTAL JORDAN-PEUGEOT GP PREVIEW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ROUND 12 - ITALIAN GP: Monza ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael Schumacher's Belgian GP victory is set to bring the `tifosi' out in force for the next event on the calendar, the Italian Grand Prix. The Benson and Hedges Total Jordan-Peugeot team have been out testing at Silverstone this week in advance of the 53-lap race which takes place on Sunday, September 8th at the historic Monza circuit. Both Martin Brundle and B&H Jordan test driver Gianni Morbi- delli were in action at the three-day test, which began on Tues- day, August 27th. "We had two objectives," sad General Manager, Trevor Foster. "Gianni continued Peugeot's engine development programme, testing the durability of components for next year's engine, while Martin carried on with the work we are undertaking to improve our aero- dynamic performance. "Unfortunately we were somewhat hampered by the weather conditions. We had a mixture of rain showers and blustery winds throughout the three days - not ideal for testing and particular- ly not for testing aerodynamic modifications. As a result, we didn't get through as much as we would have liked. That's how it goes though. Sometimes you will have two or three good days when you can really pile through the work, other times you come away from a test having learned very little because of bad weather or maybe chassis or engine problem." The team has vastly expanded its test programme this year and now boasts a dedicated 11-man test team. "We have completed in excess of 80 days so far this season and I anticipate we will have done more than 110 days by Christmas," says Foster. "Testing is an area of paramount importance. At a race meeting you are gathering data purely to maximize the performance of the car for that particular weekend. All the information and data from which the engineers develop the car, is gathered at test sessions. We are continually trying to evaluate and improve the performance of the car, either by trying out new components or by reevaluating old ones to ensure we are continuing on the right path. "It's quite easy to get sent off in the wrong direction, weather conditions, be it wind or rain, can make it difficult to evaluate data accurately, as can temperature changes. "It's also important to remember that you have a human being in the car who can perform better on some days than on others. All these things have to be taken into account. Outside perform- ance gains, the other very important aspect of testing is reli- ability." How successful has Jordan's programme been this year? "I think it can be looked at in two ways," says Foster. "We have completed more simulated race distances than ever before and that has helped enormously in terms of our reliability which has been exceptionally good this year - our best ever. "Speed is more difficult to evaluate because it's possible to progress, but stay in the same position in relation to you competitors. While we may still be qualifying as the fifth best team, in its own way that is progress because we are hanging on the teams ahead of us. What we haven't succeeded in doing so far this year is closing the gap on the teams ahead, and that's what every team is looking to do - get closer to the Williams. "Gianni Morbidelli, our official test and reserve driver has played a very important role in our programme this year. He's very disciplined and that's exactly what you want from a test driver - somebody who will do precisely what you ask him to do because there is always a specific reason behind the request. "Fabrizio di Simone has played his part, but Gianni has really been the workhorse of the team. Racing drivers generally just want to make the car go faster all the time, and that's understandable. Gianni has carried out a lot of race simulations and done lots of running with heavy fuel loads. It takes disci- pline to undertake that role." Testing was one of the issues spotlighted by recent revi- sions to the Concorde Agreement. "I think the idea was originally put forward to reduce costs, but theoretically it could actually increase them," says Foster. "Teams will continue to spend more money every year because new areas of technology are continually being developed. In fact, reducing costs in Formula One is an almost impossible task because it's so technology driven. We're still quite an open Formula from that point of view." Jordan Technical director Gary Anderson, agrees. "If you limit the number of days that a team is allowed to spend on the track, one obvious result will be an increase of test simulation equipment being installed at the factory for those teams that can afford it. "Computer and model simulations will be increased to try to cover the eventualities which would have previously been covered at the circuit. Take four-poster rigs as an example. The big teams could have a four-poster rig working day in and day out which would necessitate an extra car to run it ... and so on. "I personally look at it as being worse; on the track every- thing is equal, if track time is limited the `toys' will become more important and that will favour the rich teams. This route could also compromise safety. A component may be tested exten- sively on a rig, but will never be subjected to the same loads as it would on the track. "The other result of limiting track availability will be the growth in the size of test teams. Two or three years ago the top four used a one-car test team. Now that we are getting up to speed with a full-blown, one-car test team, Williams, McLaren and Benetton have two-car test teams. Obviously if you run a three- day test with two cars, you are effectively getting six days of testing and that is inevitably what will happen. If you put in a restriction in one area, people will intensify their programme elsewhere, piling resources into an area which is not restricted." "The intention of the rule is certainly one which everyone will agree with," says Foster. "Whether the execution in this form will achieve that end remains to be seen. In the meantime we will continue to maximize every opportunity to improve our re- sults."

CIRCUIT DETAILS Length: 5.770 kms. Race distance: 53 laps - 305.810 kms. 1995 Pole: David Coulthard Williams-Renault 1:24.462. 1995 FL: Gerhard Berger Ferrari 1:26.419. 1995 Results: 1. Johnny Herbert Benetton-Renault. 2. Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes. 3. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford. 4. Mark Blundell McLaren-Mercedes. 5. Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha. 6. Jean-Christophe Boullion Sauber-Ford.

Magis mutus quam piscis

* 1st 2.00 #8604 * Did Ayn Rand write The virtue of Necromancy?

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Gerhard Berger , Mika Salo , Mark Blundell , Martin Brundle , Jean-Christophe Boullion , Gianni Morbidelli , Gary Anderson
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Jordan